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My Zoe has just been diagnosed with glaucoma. We were in the ER this weekend and she was in the ICU for the past 2 days getting her pressures brought down to normal and for monitoring. Today I brought her home. It looks like she has lost sight in one eye. The other appears to be fine so far. Tomorrow we meet with the Opthamologist. Would anyone feel comfortable sharing info/experiences with this disease and your Basset? I've read some of the Vet stuff on this site, but haven't come up with many forum topics on it.

Many thanks

Zoe and Nelson's Mom
 

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I'm so sorry to hear this. My first basset, Amber, also experienced glaucoma. Her eyevet recommended laser surgery. Although she had the laser surgery, she subsequently developed glaucoma in the other eye about 8 months after her first attack. :(

She adjusted well to being blind. Blindness isn't as much of a handicap for dogs as it is for humans, because dogs aren't as dependent upon sight as we are.

The Basset Hound Club of America maintains a list of health links of interest to basset owners here. There are several links under the Glaucoma section. Another list of glaucoma links can be found here, at this Blind Dog and Canine Vision Resources site.
 

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Thank you for those pointers they have been very helpful in preparing me for the meeting with the opthamologist tomorrow. We'll have to wait and see...

She's such a pleasant dog even when in alot of pain, the vet said her tail never stopped wagging and she was doling out kisses left and right (she's a love hound...)
 
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There's lots of old posts on glaucoma. Perhaps someone could direct you to them, I'm a computer moron and can't. My Basset Nellie had glaucoma. Blind dogs adjust very well, better than we humans I'm afraid. I also had laser surgery done on Nellie and think it is a waste of money. Good luck and take care, Belinda.
 

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Hi. I just read your post about your girl and her glaucoma. I am so sorry that you and she will now have to deal with this dreaded disease, as have so many other basset owners.

My Annabelle has glaucoma also - she has been completely blind since Jan. 2001, when she was not quite 20 months old. She has the cosmetic implants - there's a link to pictures of her, below.

The first thing I would really encourage you to do is join the BlindDogs online support and information group. Their website is at www.blinddogs.com, and their online email group (which works like the Daily Drool list, here, does) is at groups.yahoo.com/groups/blinddogs/ This group was incredibly helpful to me in those terrible days after Annabelle's diagnosis; full of very kind and knowledgeable people. Many of the dogs on there are blind from glaucoma; this group will be incredibly helpful with any questions you have (and I'm sure you have a LOT).

I also want to send you these links to three of the best articles I have found lately on glaucoma in dogs. The first one is a clear and simply written explanation of glaucoma, its causes, treatments, and outcomes - written "for the layman", as it were.
www.vetcentric.com/magazine/magazineArticle.cfm?ARTICLEID=1435

The second one is from the www.blinddogs.com website. It is a great article explaining the different types of medications that are used in the treatment of glaucoma, why they are used, and their pros and cons in various situations.
www.blinddogs.com/glaucoma-meds.htm
www.blinddogs.com/glaucoma-meds2.htm

The third one is actually written for vet students at the Univ. of Wisconsin Vet School. It is an overview of symptoms, questions to ask, and apropriate courses of treatment, given the condition of the eye, etc.
www.vetmed.wisc.edu/students/courses/miller/Glaucoma.pdf

I wnat to assure you, that, if her second eye is also affected, and she eventually loses her sight completely, that she can and will lead a full and happy life. My Annabelle bosses around our foster bassets, wrestles happily with "her" dachshund, attends Waddles and Bashes, and generally lives a full and rich life as supreme Ruler of our Household.

Annabelle has had her eyes removed, because the glaucoma could not be controlled, and she was in a lot of pain. We opted for the cosmetic implants. Our vet did a great job, and they look really good (I think :) ). TO see pictures of her with the implants, please check out her online photo album. Go to www.photoisland.com, and log in to my albums with the following information:

Log-in ID: [email protected]
Guest Password: annabelle

Once there, check out the album named "Annabelle". While you're there, please check out the album titled "Lightning". That's our previous foster basset, Lightning, who was also blind (in one eye). He had one eye removed, so you can compare the way he looks (removal) with the way she looks (implants).

Please let me know if you have any questions or need any other information. I have a TON of info on glaucoma, eye surgeries, and related topics squirreled away here and there - I will be glad to help any way I can. :)

Again, my sympathies for what you are going through. I have been there; it is definitely a time of great anxiety and grief - and both of those are OK, and normal. {{{HUGS}}}}

[ January 06, 2004, 02:26 PM: Message edited by: Menzie ]
 

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Also, re: removal of the blind eye. This is something that, sooner or later, you will have to consider. Once the eye is blind, there is very little chance of the sight ever returning, because the optic nerve has been, essentially, killed.

The thing that strikes me every time I read the third article (the one from the Univ. of Minnesota vet school) is the statement by the author that owners nearly always come back and tell the vets that they didn't realize how much pain the dog was in until after the eye was removed, and that their dog seems like "a new dog".

The change in Annabelle was SO striking after her eye removal surgery. I didnt' realize how much pain she was in, and how much it made her cranky, and depressed, until we removed the eye. If I had it to do over again, I would remove Annabelle's first blind eye much sooner, rather than fighting to "keep" a useless, blind eye for so long.

I was worried that she would be paralyzed by fear, and profoundly depressed, by her blindness. But, as soon as she got her bearings in the house (only took a day or two), she got all her old personality back. She gave kisses, she wagged her tail constantly, she even wrestled with Gus, her "little brother" (dahcshund), which she hadn't done since the glaucoma had struck her first eye, months before. All this time, we thought her crankiness and timid-ness was because she was losing her sight; but it wasn't. It was because she was in so much pain. And this was after the laser surgery to relieve the pressure, and after three months of giving her every medication our eye Dr. could think of.

Of course, only you can make the decision as to whether it is "time" - time to give up fighting, time to get it over with, time to remove the eyes. And whatever the decision, it's not an easy one, I know. My husband and I both sat in the vet's office and tried to make that decision; to decide whether to try another laser surgery, or just go ahead and remove the eye - and we both cried. But seeing how relieved Annabelle was, after - that's when I knew we had made the right decision.

Anyway, I dont' know if this helps any or not - I'm just sharing what we went through. I would also really sugest joining the Blinddogs group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/blinddogs/ All of them have been through what you are going through right now - trying to decide when is the right time to make that decision. They are a great group of people; if you post your question/problem to the group, you will get lots of great and helpful advice.
 

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Menzie,

Thank you so much for all the information. I was raised in the medical community and had an idea of what I was in for, but as with all things, when it hits home, it's another matter. I've taken a few days off to be with Zoe to monitor her during her first days home.

We saw the Opthamologist today and she was diagnosed officially with accute primary glaucoma. However, it looks like her pressure spike was not sustained and so she does have some vision in the eye we thought was gone. The other is fine. But she's clearly a different dog as you say.

We went in for another midnight run to the ER again last night because she was squinting, rubbing her eye, and clouding up and I was afraid of another spike. Although it seems that this is going to be an exercise in futility.

I'll take some time to review the pointers you sent. I had done some research before my appt with the doc and it helped in the discussions.

Annabelle is beautiful and Lightning looks just like our other basset Nelson and apparently they are equally bright (Zoe's got the brains in this family..)

Thank you again
 

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Hi,
My experience with glaucoma was a little different than the others on this board. My last female, Louella got glaucoma when she was about 9-10 years in her left eye. We tried to maintain the pressure with meds for a week or so, then had laser surgery. Actually, they had to laser the eye twice. She retained vision in that eye until a couple of years later, when she got a cataract in it, which can be a side effect of the surgery. She still had some vision in it, but not much. But we are talking about an 11 year old dog at this point. As soon as her left eye was diagnosied our veterinary opthamologist had us start using the glaucoma meds in her right eye also. She had fine vision and pressure in it until 3 years (almost to the day) that she had first her glaucoma attach in the left eye, and then the right eye became affected too. However, we were able to control it with meds until she died, which wasn't that much later--she was almost 13 at the time. So she did have useful vision her whole life.
I credit the veterinarians, who were just super and seem incredibly skilled and knowledgable. I've forgotten where you are from, but if it is the San Francisco Bay Area, let me know, and I'll get you the contact info if you want it.
 

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We're in MA and working with a wonderful hospital and opthamologist. Unfortunately I had to bring Zoe back to the hospital at 2 am. She just seemed so uncomfortable (I've been watching her like a hawk). She wouldn't open her eyes and she was very tentative walking around to the point where it seemed like she couldn't see. Good thing I brought her in because she had a pressure spike in her "bad" eye even with the additional meds she was put on yesterday. They put her on IV diuretics last night which hasn't lowered her pressure enough. She got another dose a little bit ago, so I'm waiting to hear. It's just been so sad to see her feeling so bad. It's just not our Zo-Zo.
 

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I'm sorry Zoe is continuing to have problems. Please continue to let us know how things are going for her. :(
 

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I am sorry to hear that Zoe is continuing to have problems.

This is the problem we had with Annabelle, in her first eye. We had the laser surgery done (to relieve pressure). Then, for the next three months, we fought with continuing pressure spikes in that eye. We used one pill and three different eyedrops, augmented from time to time with steroids, to try to keep the pressure down. But she still had pressure spikes about once or twice a week.

The thing I learned, later, from reading the articles I posted above, and from talking to our eye vet, is that those pressure spikes can be immensely painful. My eye vet compared it to a migraine headache. And if you've ever had a true migraine (as opposed to just a "regular" headache), you will know instantly what kind of pain we are talkig about.

The only way, in the end, to control Ananbelle's pressure spikes, and thus relieve her pain, was to remove that eye.

Then, three weeks later, the secodn eye contracted glaucoma. When we got her to the ER vet, the pressure was over 70. ANd it stayed that way all day, even though she was on IV medications to try to reduce the pressure. The eye vet even came in to the ER doc, to remove fluid from the eye with a needle. But even that didn't help. By the next day, when we got to the eye vet's office, even she admitted there was probably no hope for that eye. So we had it removed too.

I do hope you can get these spikes under control. If nothing else, it will buy you, as her caretaker, more time to come to terms with the idea of her losing her sight. Acute primary glaucoma is what Annabelle had to. From what I've read, it is often much harder to successfully control than secondary glaucomas.
 

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Zoe is in recovery now from implant surgery. Everything went very well and I'll actually be able to bring her home tonight where I think we will both have a good snooze on the couch.

I had to make the decision this morning. It took 2 doses of IV manitol to bring her bad eye into normal ranges and she was already on hefty doses of 5 other meds. We've been in the ER and dr.s office 2x/day since Saturday. It was clear to the Opth. that we wouldn't be able to maintain her levels and optic nerve was badly damaged. I wanted her pain free as quickly as possible and to give her a chance to get well and use her good eye.

I thank you again for all the pointers and pictures. I poured over all of it which made my multiple discussions with the Opthamologist very effective and informative. We were on the same page and I think in the end, it will be best for Zoe. I'm looking forward to her coming home and resuming her rule over the roost. God knows Nelson needs a good dominating which he hasn't had in over a week and it shows!

We will be continuing to treat the "good" eye with glaucoma drops and the implant eye with lubricating drops. How has it been keeping up with this routine with Annabelle?
 

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Well, we did the glaucoma drops in Annabelle's "good" eye for three months after her first eye was removed. But then it contracted glaucoma as well. Now, our eye vet told us that that is MUCH sooner than average - most dogs get a year or even longer before their second eye contracts glaucoma. I guess Annabelle is just above average!

by the end of January, she will have had her implants - in both eyes - for three years. To date, we have not had any problems with them at all. So I am very pleased.

One tip for helping her recovery from surgery - after the first few days, when the worst of the soreness is gone, our eyevet reccomended a warm compress on the eye trwice a day. We just got a nice warm washcloth, folded it into a pad, and held it gently laid on the eye area for a few minutes. At our house, we would accompany this with "puppy massage"; basically, I would give her a big ole tummy rub while I was holding the compress on her, to convince her to stay still for it. We did this for a few weeks after the surgery; it did seem to help soothe her eye. :)
 

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Bumping this up for Beverly & Francis.
 
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Just a note to thank you for the support, information and links. CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE IN THIS ROOM< LADIES AND GENTLEMEN???!!! I sure can.
 
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